“And I said to my body, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’”
Body positivity and having a positive body image has less to do with your body and more to do with your mind. It is about reframing the way you view your body and developing newfound appreciation for it. Despite what your eating disorder might have conditioned you to believe, your body is beautiful and worthy.
Positive Body Image in Recovery
It is unlikely that anyone will go from an active eating disorder to fully embodying body positivity magically overnight, but you can start with little steps. A good first step is appreciating your body for what it does instead of how it looks. Fixating on the things we don’t like about ourselves only takes focus away from all the positive things our body does for us on any given day.
For example, you might find yourself criticizing your self-proclaimed “flabby arms.” Reframe those thoughts by acknowledging everything your arms do for you throughout the day, including giving you the ability to embrace your loved ones at night. So stop hating on them!
- Don’t body check. Fight the urge to body check no matter how far you are in recovery.
- Don’t listen to body-shaming from others or from yourself.
- Do surround yourself with friends and loved ones who promote body positivity.
- Do practice body appreciation on a daily basis.
- Do rock that bikini on beach day!
Negative body image is highly common among those struggling with eating disorders. Even if this is not what triggered your eating disorder, it often develops as your self-worth becomes wrapped up in food behaviors and their results. You don’t have to live your life in a constant battle with your body. There is hope.
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Twitter Chat with Kirsten Haglund
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VLOG by Crystal Karges, M.S., RDN, IBCLC
Some individuals with eating disorders have co-occurring body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is a mental health disorder that involves a seriously distorted sense of body image and appearance. If you feel you might be struggling with BDD, let your treatment team know.
Almost everyone on the planet has body image insecurities of some kind, so we need to actively fight this body-shaming culture we live in by promoting body positivity, self-love, and acceptance. Connect with us on Eating Disorder Hope’s online forum to share your thoughts today!